coricAssistant Professor; Director, High-Throughput siRNA Screening Facility

Areas of Interest
Cancer prevention, chemotherapeutics, non-coding RNAs, high-throughput screening



Dr. Coric received her PhD degree in molecular biology and physiology from Belgrade University in Serbia, and completed her postdoctoral training at Yale Univeristy, and St Jude Children's Research Hospital. She is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Director of High-Throughput RNAi Screening Facility. 


  • Research Interests

    My broad research interests are in pathways that drive malignant transformation of cancer cells, identification and validation of new targets for cancer prevention and therapy, and molecular determinants of sensitivity/resistance to cancer chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic agents.

    My lab is interested in the mechanistic connections between obesity and cancer, particularly breast cancer. Obesity has been correlated with increased risk of breast cancer, but the underlying mechanisms linking obesity and breast cancer are not well understood. One of our current projects (in collaboration with Dr. Atigadda in the UAB Chemistry department) uses high-throughput siRNA screening and RNAseq to assess the mechanisms of metabolic and chemopreventive action of a novel class of UAB rexinoids that are active both in prevention of ER-negative breast cancer, and in prevention of metabolic syndrome and obesity. Our preliminary data suggest that the mechanisms of action of these drugs differ from other chemopreventive rexinoids, and may not be mediated by RXR receptors. We expect that understanding the mechanisms of action of these novel rexinoids will provide novel insights into the causative links between dyslipidemia, obesity and ER-negative breast cancer, and has the potential to identify novel targets for chemoprevention and therapy in high-risk patients with obesity and metabolic syndrome.

    We are also interested in the mechanisms and functions of non-coding RNAs in health and disease, particularly in cancer, and in developing miRNA/siRNA based approaches as tools for research, as well as diagnostics and therapy of cancer. We are pursuing genome-wide functional evaluation of miRNAs in different cancer cell line models, with the goal of identifying subsets of cancer-specific miRNA targets. Additionally, we are interested in using siRNA/miRNA/lncRNA functional screening and expression data from our lab and from publicly available sources to define critical miRNA/mRNA/lncRNA functional networks in normal and malignant cells.

  • Selected Publications

    Nebane NM*, Coric T*, McKellip S, Woods L, Sosa M, Rasmussen L, Bjornsti M-A, White EL Acoustic Droplet Ejection Technology and Its Application in High-Throughput RNA interference Screening. J Lab Automation 21(1):198-203, 2016 * co-first authors

    Ghosh AP, Marshall CB, Coric T, Shim EH, Kirkman R, Ballestas ME, Ikura M, Bjornsti M-A, Sudarshan S. Point mutations of the mTOR-RHEB pathway in renal cell carcinoma. Oncotarget 6(20):17895-910, 2015

    Nebane NM*, Coric T*, Whig K, McKellip S, Woods L, Sosa M, Sheppard R, Rasmussen L, Bjornsti M-A, White EL, High-Throughput RNA Interference Screening: Tricks of the Trade. J Lab Automation 18(4):334-9, 2013 * co-first authors

    Kohli L, Kaza N, Coric T, Byer SJ, Brossier NM, Klocke BJ, Bjornsti M-A, Carroll SL, Roth KA. 4-Hydroxy-Tamoxifen Induces Autophagic Death Through K-Ras Degradation. Cancer Res 73(14): 4395-405, 2013

    Coric T, Passamaneck YJ, Zhang P, Di Gregorio A, Canessa CM. Simple chordates exhibit proton-independent function of acid-sensing ion channels. FASEB J 22(6):1914-23, 2008

    Arteaga MF, Coric T, Straub C, Canessa CM. A brain-specific SGK1 splice isoform regulates expression of ASIC1 in neurons. PNAS 105(11):4459-64, 2008

    Coric T, Zheng D, Gerstein M, Canessa CM. Proton-sensitivity of ASIC1 appeared with the rise of fishes by changes of residues in the region that follows TM1 in the ectodomain of the channel. J Physiol 568(Pt 3):725-35

    Coric T, Hernandez N, Alvarez de la Rosa D, Shao D, Wang T, Canessa CM. Expression of ENaC and serum and glucocorticoid induced kinase 1 in the rat intestinal epithelium. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 286(4): G663-70, 2004

    Coric T, Zhang P, Todorovic N, Canessa CM. The extracellular domain determines the kinetics of desensitization in acid-senstive ion channel 1. J Biol Chem 278(46):45240-7, 2003

    Alvarez de la Rosa D, Coric T, Todorovic N, Shao D, Wang T, Canessa CM. Distribution and regulation of expression of serum-and glucocorticoid-induced kinase 1 in the rat kidney. J Physiol 551(2): 455-66, 2003


Ph.D., Belgrade University, Belgrade, Serbia

Postdoctoral Fellowships
Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale University
Postdoctoral Fellow, St Jude Children's Research Hospital


Office Location
Volker Hall 255